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Author Topic: Taraia object  (Read 22832 times)

Ric Gillespie

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Re: Taraia object
« Reply #15 on: September 16, 2020, 01:18:16 PM »

The black tip seems like it could be a root ball but the light color does not seem natural.

Coconut palm trunks are light colored and have big, dark root balls.
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Simon Ellwood

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Re: Taraia object
« Reply #16 on: September 16, 2020, 01:21:52 PM »

I'm not sure any section of relatively fragile structure such as fuselage could survive that intact after being washed through the passage into the lagoon and then being subject to 80 years of tides + regular storms. The condition of Artifact 2-2-V-1 would surely tend to bear this out?
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Christian Stock

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Re: Taraia object
« Reply #17 on: September 16, 2020, 01:39:42 PM »

I still see an object present in the July 2020 image. It just looks like high tide vs low tide in the others.
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Ric Gillespie

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Re: Taraia object
« Reply #18 on: September 16, 2020, 01:47:31 PM »

I'm not sure any section of relatively fragile structure such as fuselage could survive that intact after being washed through the passage into the lagoon and then being subject to 80 years of tides + regular storms. The condition of Artifact 2-2-V-1 would surely tend to bear this out?

Let's play this out.  Let's imagine a large section of the Electra fuselage washed across the reef flat, through the passage, across the lagoon, and fetched up where we see the object.  Obviously, the section of fuselage would have to be buoyant.  The only way it could be buoyant is if at least some of the empty fuel tanks remained intact in the cabin. If the fuselage section is buoyant, the journey from reef to Taraia has to happen at the time the plane breaks up in 1937.  That would be consistent with the dark spot in the 1939 aerial mapping montage.  Once wreckage is there, it will not be subject to extreme forces.
We think 2-2-V-1 is so beat up because it made a punishing journey down the reef flat before being washed up in 1990, where we found it the next year.
The big problems are the shallow depth of the silt and the proportions of the object. There's apparently enough silt there to mostly obscure the object in 2017 for example, but the Electra fuselage is a good five and a half feet from keel to top and i have a hard time thinking there's ever that much silt in the area.
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Ric Gillespie

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Re: Taraia object
« Reply #19 on: September 16, 2020, 01:51:42 PM »

It just looks like high tide vs low tide in the others.

High tide vs low tide. Duh. Thank you.
Tidal depth fluctuation is not as great in the lagoon as it is out on the reef but it could be, I dunno, maybe two feet.
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Christian Stock

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Re: Taraia object
« Reply #20 on: September 16, 2020, 01:57:49 PM »

Yeah, not exactly the Bay of Fundy, but probably a few feet, like you said. That and the silt could do a good job of obscuring an object.

I hate to say it, but the Bing maps view is better, and more recent, than Google. Maybe we can see it in Flight Sim 2020.
« Last Edit: September 16, 2020, 02:05:53 PM by Christian Stock »
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Friend Weller

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Re: Taraia object
« Reply #21 on: September 16, 2020, 04:57:14 PM »

The big problems are the shallow depth of the silt and the proportions of the object. There's apparently enough silt there to mostly obscure the object in 2017 for example, but the Electra fuselage is a good five and a half feet from keel to top and i have a hard time thinking there's ever that much silt in the area.

What if due to material erosion and/or weathering it's not the entire fuselage that we might be seeing but only a portion, say, from the fuel ports up?  Think of the shape of a stalk of celery or better yet, a sculling shell.  Or maybe the wing root down, just the belly pan and keel?  From my limited A&P experience, I would venture that it's possible the semi-oval shape of the fuselage - the portion with the greatest internal shape or form support (the vertex of the ellipse) - might have a tendency to stay together compared to the larger, "flatter" sidewall sections which could be eroded away or "blown out".   This might also explain why the "now we see it, now we don't" variables in the photos, depending on environmental conditions or tidal levels at the time the photo was taken and the angle.  I agree, to "hide" an object of the entire diameter of the fuselage would be difficult in shallow waters/silt...but if it was only the top 12"-18" of the fuselage....???
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MichaelAshmore

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Re: Taraia object
« Reply #22 on: September 17, 2020, 01:19:06 PM »

   What if the water depth was greater in the Taraia spit area in 1937 as the plane floated in ? Slowly taking on water and settled in at this location. Becoming totally submerged, tides would have surely covered it up over time with silt/sand making it only visible occasionally. So what we look at being shallow water now, was in fact much deeper than we thought then.
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Ric Gillespie

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Re: Taraia object
« Reply #23 on: September 17, 2020, 01:49:09 PM »

Any explanation for what happened to the Electra must take into account:
•  The Navy flyover on July 9, 1937 did not see an airplane.
•  The Maude/Bevington expedition in October 1937 did not see an airplane.
•  The New Zealand survey of the island in Jan./Feb. 1939 did not see an airplane.
•  The U.S. Navy Bushnell survey of the island in November 1939 did not see an airplane.
•  Gallagher was in residence on the island from September 1940 to June 1941 and did not see an airplane.
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Christian Stock

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Re: Taraia object
« Reply #24 on: September 17, 2020, 02:37:12 PM »

This is frame 23:43 from the 2001 Aerial Tour of Nikumaroro.
Worth watching.  We made a very close pass.  No object visible but there's a small log on the beach in the foreground - too small to be the object in question.

It doesn't help that the pilot took that turn like he was dodging a VC machine gun. Probably an old Cav guy. It looks like he was having fun.
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Keith Gordon

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Re: Taraia object
« Reply #25 on: September 17, 2020, 04:07:33 PM »

As noted in my earlier post on the 2017 Niku visit I did note large sections from the wreck in the channel area. The curved section in the attached image attracted my attention however on further investigation it was found to be of iron composition. It was close to the channel exit into the lagoon, no doubt, as seen by earlier expeditions, large sections from the wreck have been over time carried into the lagoon. The Taraia object could be similar to the attached image.
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Andrew M McKenna

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Re: Taraia object
« Reply #26 on: September 17, 2020, 04:35:37 PM »

Well, if I had to guess, I'd say it is probably a log that washed into that position.  Black is the root ball, light is the trunk covered by a thin layer of sediment.  Top has been broken off in the wind storm that uprooted the tree.  Floated there and got caught up on the shoreline.

Based upon the anecdote of airplane parts being spotted out on the far lagoon shoreline (I can't recall the specifics at the moment), we did survey this area extensively in 2001 using metal detectors.  We also surveyed this area underwater by skiff towed scuba guinea pigs (Walt and myself) in 2001, and I believe using the small AUV sidescan unit in 2010?  Taraia point is one place where the sediment does accumulate, that is why it is there, and it does change shape a bit over time as it builds and erodes.  Just off the tip, on the side where the log is, it is very loose fine grained stuff and easy to sink into, and very stinky, i.e. much like quicksand made from bird guano.  As you move farther up the shore, it firms up.

My opinion, anything other than a log is an extreme long shot, but.....

Fun to speculate though.

Andrew
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MichaelAshmore

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Re: Taraia object
« Reply #27 on: September 17, 2020, 05:02:20 PM »

  What if the Taraia object is exactly where it crashed and not brought in by tidal movement over any period of time. Maybe Amelia & Fred decided on this approach instead, due to the coral reefs and all the hazards involved. With their focus more on personal preservation than the aircraft itself. Picking the spit area to be the most beneficial to have a survivable landing. Coming to that decision after multiple flybys or unless it was a spur of the moment as they ran out of fuel. Most likely bringing the Electra through Tatiman Passage to make a belly water landing ( ditching ) with intentions of reaching the spit. If this were to be, the majority of the plane would be within the Taraia Spit and cove search area. This is my hypothesis on the last moments of her flight.
 
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Christian Stock

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Re: Taraia object
« Reply #28 on: September 17, 2020, 06:17:36 PM »

It’s probably a Japanese mini sub that sank on a mission to resupply the Imperial Japanese Army Commandos who loaded the Electra on the barge for the journey to Jaluit.


Or a log.
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MichaelAshmore

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Re: Taraia object
« Reply #29 on: September 17, 2020, 08:01:51 PM »

Here we have a blowup of the 1938 photo of Taraia area. I have
circled what I believe to be the same object as seen in the other
photos. If so, this could corroborate the float in or the fly in theory.
Have a look and draw your own conclusions. What do you think?
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